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Another Closed Door

Lori O’Dea

When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” These words play repeatedly in my mind, a distant echo reverberating from too many childhood viewings of The Sound of Music. Another door in my life has closed, albeit gently, and I am immobilized before the imaginary barrier. The eternal optimism of the culturally iconic phrase lacks the power to lift my head, even in search of the proverbial window.

Have you been there? Are you there now? Strange place. Humility wrestles with humiliation. Relief struggles with anxiety. Discouragement vies for supremacy over action. And despite this crowd of almost tangible companions, the overwhelming initial presence is that of isolation. But don’t believe it.

Doors can welcome or cut off. Doors closed in your face are always the latter. When seeking the will of God, though, be careful not to misinterpret a closed door. Whether it indicates God’s intervention or that of a fallible human being, what it does not, cannot, and never could signal is separation from God. He stands with us at the closed door.

So in those first moments of quiet paralysis before a shut door, gather your breath — not to rail at God or someone else — but to whisper His name. When you are certain that you are not alone and equally assured that Jesus is with you, then you will be equipped to sort out the situation. Gratitude, submission, and a clearer vision can make their way to the front of a claustrophobic room in His presence, enabling us to know whether we should try the doorknob again or turn and look for another door.

Dr. Lori O'Dea serves as lead pastor of New Life Assembly of God in Grand Ledge, Michigan. She is an ordained minister and member of The Network for Women in Ministry steering committee.